Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Nov 12, 2014 / 13:24 pm
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints has approved the cause of beatification of Guido Schaffer, who was a Brazilian seminarian known as the "Anjo Surfista," or "Surfer Angel."
The Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro will now establish a tribunal to handle the cause. The archdiocese requested approval of the cause in May by sending the Vatican numerous documents on the life of Schaffer "to show that he lived in accord with the teachings of the Church."
Schaffer died of drowning in May of 2009, at the age of 34, while surfing at Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro. His untimely death came just weeks before he was to be ordained to the priesthood.
Formation directors and seminarians at St. Joseph Seminary in Rio, where he studied theology, remember Schaffer with great fondness.
"He was very sensitive toward others and was a man of great faith and was passionate for the word of God," said Father Roberto Lopes, episcopal vicar for the causes of saints in the archdicoese, last May.
"On the day of his burial, the Church of Our Lady of Copacabana was filled with bishops, priests and many believers who saw him a young man who was different and deeply loved God," he added.
Schaffer left a major impact on the poor due to his work with the native tribes of Brazil alongside the Missionaries of Charity.
The late seminarian was the son of physicians, and had expressed interest in serving in the medical field after his ordination to the priesthood.
"He was the son of physicians, he was well-off economically but he was not attached to material things," Father Lopes said.
"He worked at the Holy Home of Mercy and wanted to live there once he was ordained a priest."
Father Lopes said Schaffer's life "inspires more and more young people to follow the way of holiness while continuing to do everything that young people do."
He recalled that during World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, many young people visited an expo on Schaffer's life.
"The number of people who visited the expo was amazing and still today there are many who seeking information and attribute graces received to his intercession." Fr. Lopes concluded.